In Memoriam
Mary Travers

GREAT PERFORMANCES mourns the passing of Mary Travers (1936 – 2009) of the iconic, 1960s folk music group Peter, Paul and Mary. A steadfast supporter of public television, Mary Travers’ many PBS appearances include the 1996 GREAT PERFORMANCES’s special, “Lifelines,” featuring the trio in a nostalgic concert of their signature songs dating back to the group’s early days in Greenwich Village. Best known for their emblematic hit “Puff the Magic Dragon” and the ballad “Leaving on Jet Plane,” written by John Denver, the group was a major influence in bringing folk music to a heightened new prominence in the post-WWII era. Her unforgettable contribution to American popular music will live on through her memorable public television performances.

Photo by Robert Corwin

  • Alex Ives

    I will miss being able to keep up with Mary Travers through PBS. It was great that every once in a while she would reappear there for me after I’d come to love her when PP&M began. My father was a folk singer, and I loved a spirited, polished performance. Mary always gave this to so many.

  • Rita B. Davis

    I grew up with Peter, Paul and Mary. My sister and I and a male friend of ours sang folk music with our guitars at the VA Hospital in Atlanta for the returning Viet Nam Vets and we sang all of Peter, Paul and Mary’s songs. I will miss this elegant beatiful lady so very much! Thank you PBS for all of the programs you have aired on these talented oh so inspiring passion filled, one of a kind folk singers! Rita

  • Margie Minard

    I feel as though I have lost a friend. I drive the Amish in north central Ohio as a living, and they just LOVE Peter, Paul, and Mary…for some reason, the Boa Constrictor song is a favorite. That’s not the only one, though…Right Field, The Wonderful Toy, This Land,…so many others. My Amish friends are so sad about Mary’s passing. As am I.

  • Mary Carlson

    I am so sad with the passing of Mary. I sincerely looked forward to their next performance or their next album. She will be truly missed. Having grown up from the begining of their careers to now, I feel as though a true friend and someone who believed as I do has passed. She truly stood up for justice and equality.

  • Jeremy Ferrantelli

    I am deeply sadend by the passing of Mary. They are the first musical group that I fell in love with at the age of 8 years old now 24 years old. I went to see them perform live in CHICAGO from 1993-2006, special thanks to my dad for all of the drives in the car. I am deeply grateful to have been able to see PPM live a total of 10 concerts, gotten backstage passes met PP&M personally picture taken w/Peter condid pictures with Noel and Mary. A signed autograph from Mary. A lot of great memories. I wanted to ask a question to PBS: would you please consider AIRING the 4 PBS specials again or at least one of them:
    PETER PAUL AND MOMMY TOO and OR 25th Aniversery??
    Please send me an e-mail and let me know what you can do. Mary Travers will greatly be missed by all fans. Many prayers go out to Marys friends and family. I wrote to Noel on MYSPACE. She stood for peace justice and equality FAUGHT so much for justice. We miss you Mary:1936-2009

  • pat saksa

    the passing of mary travers was not only a great lost to the music world but to the world in general. since her passing i have been looking on all my pbs stations for a special on the group one or more of the specials they did for pbs. it would be nice to see that she will not be forgetten by the station she helped so much with her presence. please do a special on mary she faught a wonderful fight against her cancer. when my husband and i saw ppm in concert mary had to sit on chair her back was hurting so much and yet it didn’t effect her performance at all she sounded wonderful like she always did . all my prayers go out to her family and friends. she has taught us so much in her life we will really miss you mary very much

  • Lindsey Slattery

    While I am slightly younger than the average Peter, Paul and Mary fan,this precious trio has
    been one of the great influences in my life. They “sang” at my wedding and lulled my babies to sleep each night; my children have been raised on Peter, Paul and Mary. They have taught our family about peace, purpose, and compassion, and I believe our world is better because of the three of them.
    Mary Travers will be so missed, but thankfully will continue to bring her beautiful harmony to my family and the world she has worked to change.

  • Rita Chladek

    I am especially said about Mary Travers passing away, as her songs accompanied a unique love story between a young European lady (myself) and a wonderful man from California some thirty years ago! We did not spend our lives together in the end, but the love is still unique.

  • Roberta Carr

    I was fortunate to have attended Peter, Paul and Mary’s concert at the Palace Theater in Waterbury, Connecticut last March, presumably one of their last together. The performance brought back memories of my college days in the peace-seeking 1960’s, complete with political and social commentary, nostalgia, fun and great appeal to the now “grown-up” audience. Especially notable was Mary’s onstage appearance, breathing apparatus and all, displaying her courage and still strong voice. She will be missed.

  • cynthia

    puff the magic dragon, and this land is your land were two of my favorites. she was an amazing women and fantastic singer god rest her soul.

  • M. Horner

    Does anyone know the name of the Song Mary sang to her granddaughter on this last concert on PBS. I will greatly miss her music. Marsha

  • David Anthony Stone

    Mary Travers and the trio are and will always be on a shelf of their own. I first saw them when I was ten in 1961 and they were know only in the Greenwich Village and in small venues —–Mary was the “IT” and “IN” girl— so totally genuine—- ——-from
    Carnegie Hall to Peace marches ——her and their voices raw and harmonious —–fun and sincere ——-and with love.
    thank you Mary RIP
    PS and Peter and Noel
    David NYC

  • Vic Richie

    Warner Brothers please release her wonderful album “All My Choices” on a CD.

  • Carol Moscatello

    Truly my Hero. You helped teach me to stand by my convictions and be true to myself…….
    Thank You Mary…….

  • Betty Thornsberry

    My 13 year old son is growing up with PPM tunes. I want him to learn from their songs as I did and to appreciate lifes oppurtunites. You will always be in my heart Mary.

  • D. Graves

    “The Wind Will Whisper Your Name”

  • Melissa Gabriel

    Nobody sang music and harmonized like Peter, Paul and Mary. I’m listening now to The Very Best of Peter, Paul and Mary. How I miss Mary..I still can’t believe she’s no longer here. I grew up with her music. I first met her in Newport, RI in 1965 while staying at the Viking Hotel. She had her young daughter with her and we took some pictures. I is a memory I will always cherish. I went to all the Newport concerts and also to the Christmas concerts at Carnegie Hall. I still miss her so.

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